BEST EXPERIENCES OF IRISH CULTURE
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Thinking of making a trip to the Emerald Isle? Check out the best destinations to experience authentic Irish culture! BCD's overview of the country’s cultural highlights is followed by a growing collection of in-depth articles and interviews with local Irish people who share their history, traditions, landscapes and spirit!
The third-largest island in Europe, Ireland has both a sweet charm and a savage beauty, with faith and poetry in evidence everywhere.
The Dingle Peninsula is a magical place where the past is very much alive and can be experienced at places like the 11th century Gallarus Oratory, a small, stone-built chapel in the shape of an up-turned boat, and 70 stones scattered across the peninsula inscribed with writing in Ogham, an alphabet that dates to possibly the 4th century.
Inis Mór is the largest of the three Aran Islands and includes many ancient structures--the stone fort of Dun Aengus is a stand-out among the island's antiquities. The neighboring island of Inis Meáin, whose name translates from Gaelic as "the Middle Island," is the quietest and most traditional of the three Aran Islands, with a population of 102 people. Both islands offer rich history, friendly hospitality, and spectacular scenery with miles and miles of rambling but sturdy stone walls.
The Burren is located in Clare and Galway counties on the west coast of Ireland, and is 720 square kilometer limestone landscape, which has been home to farming communities for six millennia. These inhabitants have left a rich archaeological legacy of Neolithic dolmans, portal tombs, ring forts, tar houses and Medieval churches. Despite its deceivingly barren appearance, the Burren is very much a living landscape, home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
For a relatively small place, Ireland's contribution to the world's culture has been significant, with four Nobel Prize winners in literature; renowned traditions in folk music and dance; and the visual arts span carvings on megalithic tombs, The Book Of Kells and other early manifestations of Christianity, and Celtic metalwork, to name but a few--all influenced by the country's spectacular geography.
Read more below about the best experiences of Irish culture—through the eyes and voices of local Irish people who are proud to share their legacy, traditions, history and stories.